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Grays Harbor Sch Dist 5 - Aberdeen School 5 Position 4

4-year term No Salary, some districts offer small per diem for evening meetings. School Board Members or “directors” – are the elected governing body of the school district, serving four-year terms. The school board’s governance responsibilities fall in four major areas: Vision – focuses the work on student achievement through a comprehensive strategic planning process; Structure – provides prudent financial planning and oversight; diligent and innovative policymaking; Accountability – sets specific goals and a process for evaluation, reporting and recommendations for improvements; and Advocacy – champions public education in the local community and before state and federal policy makers. The School Board sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional district Superintendent and certificated teaching staff and personnel. One of the critical duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any school levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget. The council also sets salaries for district employees.
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    William Dyer (NP) Professor of Music

  • Jamie Walsh (NP)

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Biographical Information

Of three major issues facing your district, which one is the most urgent?

What is your position on Charter Schools as a part of your public school system?

What is your position on testing of your students?

What is your opinion on "start times" for elementary and secondary school?

How can the on-time graduation rate be improved?

How should bullying be addressed?

What would be your plan to see that your school district students earn their civics credit required by the new state law?

What is your opinion of student suspension for classroom disruption?

Phone (360) 533-3664
Town where you live Aberdeen.
Experience (300 characters max) I have been an educator for 28 yrs, 19 yrs in the Aberdeen School District. I am a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and was named the Aberdeen School District Teacher of the Year in 2010. I am Professor of Music at Grays Harbor College. I will bring experience and knowledge to the school board.
There is no shortage of challenges facing today’s schools: inadequate funding, over-testing, school climate, and more. One priority I have for the Aberdeen School District is teacher education programs. Hiring and keeping effective, inspired educational professionals should be the number one goal for our district. Partnering with Grays Harbor College will allow the district to build early relationships with these new educators. We need strong teacher candidates who can help meet the academic and social-emotional needs of our ever-diversifying population.
I do not support publicly-funded charter schools. Research has shown they are not an effective use of public money. Charter schools lack accountability and pull resources away from public schoolchildren.
Standardized tests are necessary in today’s political climate. That being said, I can attest with firsthand knowledge both as a former teacher in the Aberdeen School District and a father of two Aberdeen schoolkids that too much of the school year is taken with standardized tests. The ELA; MSP; HSPE; EOC; WA-AIM; CBPA’s; NAEP; WELPA; ELPA21: and WaKIDS are all well intentioned assessments for understanding, but should be instituted with improvement and assessment in mind, not accountability. Further, local decisions should be allowed for instituting these assessments.

Educators should have the primary role in determining the amount and use of standardized assessments for their students. I favor de-linking standardized testing from district graduation requirements.
Research shows that a later start time, especially for our secondary schools, will help teenagers do better in school. Extra sleep can help all students especially those already struggling to maintain grades. Considerations like fewer hours for extracurricular activities, athletics, jobs, and busing mean that a district-wide change should include both community and district participants.
One way the Aberdeen School District can increase on-time graduation rates will be to provide extra attention to freshmen entering the high school. Senior class mentors, extra counseling assistance, and greater communication with our 8th grade counselors and teachers can provide incoming freshmen a greater success in starting high school. Identifying students struggling with absenteeism or who saw their grades slip in 8th grade will allow targeted assistance before they enter high school. Aberdeen High School already holds a freshmen orientation before the school-year begins called Bobcat Days. This is a good beginning.
Programs that create safe schools for all children are imperative. Programs to prevent bullying are already in place in the Aberdeen School District. I will review data regarding bullying to determine the effectiveness of current programs. Further, I will emphasize safety among targeted groups such as LGBT, disabled, and socially isolated youth. Bullying and harassment prevention should be a regular and repeated district-wide program.
I support the new civics requirement in our schools. As it is up to each district how to provide civic lessons and track graduation requirements, I will work with district staff to devise a plan to include civics lessons in our school curriculum.
School safety must be maintained in schools. That being said, sometimes a school suspension is not the best choice as a consequence for student behavior. When a student is suspended from school they are prevented from those days’ lessons. Students who are suspended are more likely to get behind in class and drop out from school. Student discipline policies should be research based, and provide the student a chance to be completed in-school. When out of school suspension is appropriate, action should be taken to assist the student in transitioning back without getting further behind in classes.
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